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Whistler council charts new territory with portfolio approach

Feature preview: The RMOW Files

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It didn't come to him in a dream, or in the bathtub, but a quiet revelation in the theatre of the Maury Young Arts Centre.

"During the election, not having to campaign gave me the opportunity to listen," says Mayor Jack Crompton, when asked how he conceived of the Resort Municipality of Whistler's (RMOW) new portfolio approach, which will see each elected councillor focus on a specific area of interest (while still voting generally on all municipal issues).

Watching Whistler's 20 candidates for council at the all-candidates meetings, listening to them passionately state the case for their potential pet projects, Crompton drew a connection to the ministerial systems used by the provincial and federal governments.

"I was struck by the insight, experience and knowledge of the people putting their names up for council," he says, pointing to Councillor Jen Ford, who was in contact with provincial ministers about childcare during the campaign, as one example.

With the portfolios, Crompton hopes to "connect the dots" between various boards and committees, strengthen one-on-one relationships with provincial and federal counterparts, and provide a "champion" for each distinct area of municipal interest.

"The primary job of a councillor is to work with the rest of council to provide direction through resolutions and bylaws. That will not change," Crompton says.

"The portfolio role is additive. It is not something that is intended to silo that person's efforts. It is intended to make them a greater resource to the rest of council and to the RMOW as a whole."

Pique caught up with all six municipal councillors as they settle into their elected roles to discuss their new portfolios, and how they plan to tackle them.

Read the full-length feature here.

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